AppNet Client News Mar 25 2014
Spring Has Sprung. Fall Has ‘Fell’. If You Don’t Optimize Your Website, You May Fall Into ‘Google Hell’
Okay I JUST made that up…kind of. I mean I just coined the phrase as it applies to Google, AND there is much truth to the statement – but I kind of stole the phraseology from about a thousand years ago when I was in the ninth grade. You know the one when you were about to go on summer vacation:
Spring has sprung. Fall has ‘fell’. When you get out don’t raise too much…” (Back in those days we’d dare not finish the poem.)
Before I get too far, let me say that we had a LOT of you guys email us and some called to let us know that you appreciated our first newsletter a few weeks back. We did post a bunch of stuff in that first one. Remember that you can always “look back” by BOOKMARKING this page.
We also had a bunch of you contact us about doing new work. Thank you as always. …and THAT brings us to the crux of this month’s newsletter – Falling into Google Hell.
Spring Just Officially Hit Last Week – and This is the Time to Grow Your Website
As my newsletter title applies to Google let me preface this month’s AppNet newsletter to say that the tulips and wildflowers shouldn’t be the ONLY thing growing this Spring. Gone are the days where you can put up a website and simply allow it to sit without revisions, frequent additions or new content and expect it to rank well on Google, Yahoo and Bing.
Content is STILL very important to website rankings, however HOW you write or create that content is vitally important these days. The internet and Google specifically have changed the game recently in how websites rank. In fact, Google has changed their algorithms 400+ times in the last year…sometimes more than once a day. Every one of those rankings tweaks are designed to reward websites with top rankings if they are “playing the game” well. Here’s a basic overview of what “playing the game well” means:
1. The website has content that is changing or edited frequently. The more often, the better.2. The website’s pages are written with the VISITOR in mind and the pages are NOT written with the search engines in mind. (This is relatively new.)3. The website is designed within a platform that is mobile optimized. Google considers you a second-tier player if you don’t cater to the 15-22% of your audience that is viewing your website from an iPhone, Android, iPad, etc.4. The website has good in-bound links coming from websites of like services. Link building is one of the most incorrectly implemented; most scam and spam oriented; and yet MOST IMPORTANT ingredients to any website’s success. It is also the one ingredient that is least focused on by most people.
For the rest of this newsletter I will focus on just TWO of the TIPS above. We’ll maybe cover the others next month unless something of greater importance surfaces.
Number ONE above alludes to content and the frequency of change. If you have a website and have done NOTHING to it in ages, chances are you’ve lost a LOT of rankings and traffic over the last few months. Google is simply rewarding websites that have new content added with some frequency – ALL of the top rankings.
We’ve always said that if you want to be successful ON the internet, that you have to be PART OF the internet. If you don’t have the time for that, then we need to create a strategy for how we or someone can do that for you. Allowing your website to sit without any growth in content will have your rankings plummeting. End of story.
The Most Important Tip This Month
Tip Number TWO is the one we’ll spend the MOST time on today. That tip speaks to HOW the content on your website is written and HOW that affects Google rankings. If your website was built more than six months ago and within the last four years – chances are that the pages of your website contain content that was written in a way that was GREAT for the last few years and served you well in terms of rankings and traffic – but that will now VERY NEGATIVELY EFFECT your website.
Let me explain. For MOST of the last few years most of the top developers found that writing content in a way that kind of stuffed your top keywords into the pages or that included adding anchored text links into your pages was very beneficial in gaining great rankings. (and of course great rankings creates traffic, etc.)
The paragraph below is an exaggerated example of such:
Acme Heating & Air specializes in Atlanta GA Trane Heat Pumps and Georgia Trane Repair Services. If you are interested in New Construction Heating and Air Installations or perhaps a new Tankless Hot Water systems in Atlanta – we’d invite the opportunity to speak with you. Call Acme Atlanta Heating & Air Company today.
That was THE best way to go until a few months ago when Google added some of their most recent rankings updates and NOW that kind of writing WILL hurt your website. NOW, that paragraph should be written something like this:
Acme Heating & Air is located in Atlanta, Georgia and we are a full-service HVAC company that services any of your home or business heating and cooling needs. We are Trane certified and offer new construction installations, repair and replacement services as well as handling preemptive service work that can save you a lot of money in the long term. If you interested in discussing some of the new tankless hot water systems or anything else related to economically heating or cooling your home or office – call Acme today.
The clearest way to summarize this is to say that if your web pages are written in a way that appears to be written for Google and not clearly for the visitor – then it’s probably hurting your rankings.
It’s Spring – and it as good a time as any to allow AppNet to help you with a Spring cleaning of your website. As we mentioned last month – as a client of AppNet you have recently been assigned a dedicated account rep and these guys are working through our client base to make contact with you. However, if you are concerned that YOUR website needs to be rewritten – then give us a call and we’ll get you to the top of the queue to make that happen.
WARNING! WARNING! WARNING!
As I was writing this newsletter I JUST received an interesting phone call from a “Google Partner” who wanted to speak with me about my own SEO.
Just know that when you get that phone call – the person calling is not working WITH or FOR Google. Chances are the person who is calling you knows less than YOU do about SEO. He or she is a telemarketer who is simply attempting to call or email anyone and everyone they can find and set the phone call up for one of the “better” SEO people to talk with you.
Being a “Google Partner” only means that they went to Google and filled out a form that provides them with a Google login that allows them to control Google Adwords for multiple clients at one time. A trusted Google Partner is simply someone who sells Google products, Adwords, SEM, Adsense, etc. Just FYI, AppNet is a trusted Google Partner.
The guy who called me started the call off by saying, “Hi Mike, I’m with Captain Marketing (very quietly) and then he BOOMED that he was with Google. It was only after I asked him if he meant to say that he was a Google Partner that he answered affirmatively. He then went on tell me of how my website was not ranked well and all he could do to fix me. When I asked him to inform me where I wasn’t ranked well, he wanted to get me over to one of their SEO specialists who could answer that. When I informed him of how we were ranked in the top five in 20-something states and number two nationally for – top ten search engine ranking – he said “oh, okay” and bid farewell.
So – consider yourself warned. Evidently times are hard out their in the land of the interwebs and hungry people are resorting to some not-so-friendly tactics to scam you out of money. Rankings are more competitive than ever and they don’t come FREE or in some cases all that cheap. We’re employing every means necessary to track our client’s websites with Google Analytics, MOZ, SERPS, AhRefs and more.
My strongest tip of this month is – if you haven’t done anything with your website in the last six months – it’s time.
Until next month!